MELBOURNE: Three men, including two of Indian-origin, charged with arranging illegal entry of 18 Indians into New Zealand today pleaded not guilty, in the first human-trafficking case in the country.
During the arrest of Satnam Singh, Jaswinder Singh Sangha and a third man with his name not disclosed in August last year, Immigration New Zealand (INZ) alleged that the three were involved in the trafficking of 18 Indians to work in the horticulture industry in 2008-09.
The three men are the first people in New Zealand to be charged with human trafficking. They pleaded not guilty to all the charges against them during their trial at the high court in Nelson.
Singh and Sangha were arrested from Motueka town in New Zealand, an important agricultural region north of Nelson,
while the third man was arrested from Auckland, stuff.co.nz news website reported.
Both of them were charged with arranging the illegal entry of people into New Zealand.
The men have pleaded not guilty to all charges. They were arrested in Motueka and Auckland last year.
Sangha and the third man also face charges of knowingly producing a false or misleading document before an immigration, visa, or refugee status officer.